So Art in the Pearl http://www.artinthepearl.com/, a delightfully smart and small art fair with about 130 artists is currently “on” in downtown Portland this extended weekend. It runs over every labor day and myself and three other art faculty meandered through their booths on Saturday. Here are my top picks of what I saw:
Brian O’Neill- Ceramics: http://www.brianoneillceramics.com/
Texture and form are the key to his pieces, and he’s a nice guy to boot. I think any reasonable person will want to touch Mr. O’Neill creations with the delightful variety of surfaces he achieves on all of his vessels. I enjoyed the contrast with these as well, organic in texture his more sculptural vessels had a very elegant modernist aesthetic. Very nice indeed.
Jeffery Zachmann- Sculpture: http://www.zachmann.com/
My oh my you would not believe the crowd around this man’s booth, and adults were negotiating for views as much as children. This man’s kinetic sculptures literally had folks mesmerized. One word for it: delightful. I am so impressed with anyone with a nuanced combination of artistic and engineering skills. Mr. Zachmann hit it out of the park. I only wish he had a video on his website of his work moving. Really whimsical tickling work!
Michael Madzo- Mixed Media Painting: http://www.hunterkirklandcontemporary.com/madzo.htm#40 or http://www.michaelmadzo.com/
Have you ever had a painting whip you back in time? Approaching Mr. Madzo’s booth I was propelled back over twenty years ago when I worked in Los Angeles for the LA county cultural affairs department. I had seen his work back then, and still find today curiouser and curiouser. He creates his work by painting images, cutting them up and then sewing different parts together into a collage hybrid. And well, the human eyes on every living creature adds to the bizarre nature of his populated landscape. Looking like lost items from a Mannerist painting or children’s books, his work is worth a look-see.
Grayson Malone- Sculpture: http://www.cowboy-zen.com/index.html
Beautiful, simple and practical Ms. Malone’s sculpture (often oil lamps) were lovely in their angular and textured nature. Concentrating on the beauty of simple materials like concrete and metal her work was lovely and thoughtful. Another faculty member and myself just had to not linger too long to keep from buying everything. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything quite like her creations, and she did excellent with her presentation. It makes sense why in 2011 she was awarded best in show.